2021 WSOP Main Event underway: Full list of Asia Pacific Day 2 qualifiers; Other advancing pros Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Fedor Holz, Moneymaker, and more

wsope 2021 schedule
Photo Credit – WSOP

If there is one clear proof that the World Series of Poker was sorely missed, it was the sheer number of players coming out for the $10,000 Main Event NL Hold’em World Championship. With the US having opened its borders on November 8, the highlighted event expanded from four starting days to six, and for the first time in history Day 2 was available for late entries. At the close of registration, the event amassed 6,360+ players however the official tally has yet to be determined with both Day 2 heats still accepting players. 4,702 advanced to the next round. The largest turnout was on Day 1D with 2,550 players pouring in. 

Day 1A – 523 players, 348 advanced
Day 1B – 845 players, 611 advanced
Day 1C – 600 players, 433 advanced
Day 1D – 2,550 players, 1,933 advanced
Day 1E – 797 players, 592 advanced
Day 1F – 1045 players, 785 advanced

Among the world’s elite making it through were previous Main Event champions Tom McEvoy, Martin Jacobson, Ryan Riess, Qui Nguyen, Hossein Ensan, Jerry Yang, Joe Hachem, Scott Blumstein, and Scotty Nguyen. One of the first to secure a Day 2 seat was poker icon Doyle Brunson. 2003 Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker was a surprise attendee. Before the start of the series, Moneymaker tweeted that he would be missing this year’s festivities. It seems the heavy turnout was something he simply could not ignore and made his appearance at Day 1F. Moneymaker qualified for Day 2. Another superstar advancing was 2x Main Event champion Phil Hellmuth who entered the floor in dramatic fashion. Hellmuth was dressed in Gandalf the White, wielding his staff before taking a seat. 

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Other notable players into Day 2 were starting day chip leaders Mustapha Kanit (Day 1A), Steve Foutty (Day 1B), Aleksandr Shevlyakov (Day 1C), Adedapo Ajayi (Day 1D), David Gerassi (Day 1E), and Adam Walton (Day 1F). They are joined by numerous decorated pros that included Erik Seidel, Billy Baxter, Adam Friedman, Michael Mizrachi, Adrian Mateos, Yuri Dzivielevski, Asi Moshe, Jason Koon, Chris Moorman, Mike Matusow, Brian Yoon, Justin Bonomo, Ben Yu, and two time winners Anthony Zinno, Kevin Gerhart and Josh Arieh. Another late arrival in the series was German pro Fedor Holz who also qualified into Day 2. 

In addition to the high profile players was a long list of Day 2 qualifiers from the Asia Pacific region. The biggest forces were from Japan and Korea while on the opposite end were Singapore, Vietnam and Pakistan with one qualifier each. Here’s a full breakdown per country including the first batch of Day 2 results. 

Australia – 17 players

Joe Hachem, Photo Credit – WSOP

Australia will see 17 players try to bring home the championship gold. 2005 Main Event champion Joe Hachem will attempt for a second win; also into Day 2 are bracelet winner Gary Benson, 2019 WSOP POY Robert Campbell, Vincent Huang, Adam Monaghan, Paul Hockin, Angelina Rich, Minh Nguyen, Luke Martinelli, Peter Robertson, Dionysios Perdikoyiannis, Ehsan Amiri, Lewis Murray, Javier Mateoscircia, Terence Clee, Harris Soetikno, and Peter Dykes

India – 16 players

Abhinav Iyer, Photo Credit – WSOP

A sizable pack of players from India made the trip with most having to spend two weeks at a third country before allowed entry. Among the Main Event Day 2 qualifiers were bracelet winners Abhinav Iyer, Nikita Luther, and 2x winner Nipun Java. Also making the cut were big stacked Vidur Sethi, Aditya Agarwal, Shashank Jain, Neel Joshi, Abhishek Goindi, Arsh Grover, Anirudh Mudimela, Kalyan Cheekuri, Muskan Sethi, Kunal Punjwani, Himmat Singh, Ankit Ahuja, and Siddarth Karia

Taiwan – 5 players

James Chen, Photo Credit – WSOP

The small group of Taiwanese players have been making noise since the start of the series. Bracelet winner James Chen nearly won a second gold but missed by one spot. He will try his chances at the Main Event having qualified to Day 2. Also advancing was newly minted bracelet winner Pete Chen. They are joined by Kitty Kuo, Joanne “JJ” Liu, and Yun Zheng

Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Pakistan

Mike Takayama, Photo Credit – WSOP

The Philippines will be represented by four well known pros namely Marc Rivera, Lester Edoc, John Tech, and bracelet winner Mike Takayama. Also advancing was Jerwin Pasco who was back for his fourth annual series. Another qualifier was James Mendoza, a known player in the Philippines, however he flies under the American flag. Prior to the festival start, Thailand’s Phachara Wongwichit told SMP he was uncertain of making the trip due to his vaccination schedule. However, it looks like that’s all been sorted. Wongwichit advanced to Day 2, along with fellow countryman Punnat Punsri. Other qualifiers were Nobert Koh (Singapore), Dinh Le (Vietnam), and Faraz Iqbal (Pakistan). 

Korea – 37 players

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Sung Joo Hyun, Photo Credit – World Poker Tour

Bracelet winners Sung Joo Hyun, Sejin Park, and Jiyoung Kim were among the 36 players from Korea into Day 2. Also advancing were Soo Jo Kim, Hwany Lee, Yohwan Lim, Jeonggyu Cho, Steve Yea, Seungmook Jung, Daewoong Song, Jaeho Lee, Sang Yeon Hwang, Seongsu Kong, Taehyung Kim, Junhyoung Ki, Wongook Choi, Seungjun Kim, Hojin Kim, Jungwon Kim, Daegon Shon, Gyuhoon Kang, Sungyeol Kim, Seokyoung Lee, Wooram Cho, Kyungbo Na, Hogyun Kang, Jungsoo Bin, Byungjin Kang, Jong Jin Han, Junseok Oh, Chulhan Choi, Junga Choi, Seongmin Lee, Jaesung Lee, Ungwang Choi, Sunghyuk Moon, and Yoongwon Woo

Japan – 49 players

Naoya Kihara, Photo Credit – WSOP

Japan will field the most Day 2 players with 49 making the cut. Among them were bracelet winners Naoya Kihara and Kazuki Ikeuchi. The rest were Jun Obara, Tamon Nakamura, Akihide Shimizu, Yudai Goto, Hiroyuki Noda, Go Saito, Hiroki Karatsu, Mikiya Kudo, Mobi Fehr, Takumi Odani, Junichi Nakanowatari, Sayoko Matsumoto, Masashi Yoshikawa, Wataru Miyashita, Takushi Shiratori, Tatsuya Seki, Kazuki Aiuchi, Masahi Fujiike, So Konishi, Kosaku Akashi, Tatsuya Nishikawa, Yasuhiro Kubota, Yuhei Sanada, Masato Yokosawa, Anil Chatani, Yasuhiro Ojiri, Hiroaki Kato, Takashi Yagura, Sota Yamashita, Toru Taniguchi, Ryona Tanaka, Haruna Ito, Hiroki Nawa, Masaki Nakano, Masakazu Miyamoto, Shunsuke Tokoo, Yosuke Kuroda, Masahiro Marumoto, Tetsuro Tomita, Kenji Hamamoto, Koki Kudo, Takashi Ogura, Yuuki Usui, Kawaguchi Akihiro, Masatoshi Tanaka, Tomomitsu Ono, and Shota Nakanishi

China – 13 players

Yueqi Zhu 2018 World Series of Poker EV35 DAY04 DSC 8392
Yueqi Zhu, Photo Credit – WSOP

Not many players from China attended this year, however for those that made the trek, nine advanced to Day 2 of the Main Event, namely bracelet winner Yueqi Zhu, Yao Meng, Guo Chen, Chang Luo, Yingzheng Shi, Marcelo Delgado, Lifu Zhang, Giufang Liu, Jimmy Zhou, Richard Ma, Youcef Zalagh, Ke Chen, and Jun Li.

Hong Kong – 5 players

Ka Kwan Lau, Photo Credit – WSOP

Five players flying the Hong Kong flag advanced. Weeks prior, Ka Kwan Lau nearly won his first gold but was denied at victory’s door by Shaun Deeb. Despite the miss, his impressive run continued with a seat at Day 2 of the Main Event. Other qualifiers were Steven Au, Yik Yin “Ray” Chiu, Lan Gu and Hyung Sun Jung

First batch of Day 2 results

The first Day 2 group ran alongside the last starting flight with survivors of Day 1A, Day 1B, and Day 1D racing for a seat into Day 3. With registration still open, another 100+ players joined the hunt for roughly 3000+ in the field. At the end of the scheduled five rounds, among those moving on were Main Event champions Martin Jacobson and Jerry Yang, 2019 WSOP POY Robert Campbell, Mustapha Kanit (Day 1A leader), Steve Foutty (Day 1B leader), Adedapo Ajayi (Day 1D chip leader), Rameez Shahid (Day 2abd chip leader) two time series winner Anthony Zinno, Billy Baxter, David Coleman, Mike Matusow, Nick Petrangelo, Jason Koon, Chance Kornuth, Ben Yu, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Chris Moorman, Lara Eisenberg, and Maria Ho. On the flip side, Main Event champions Texas Dolly, Tom McEvoy, and Ryan Riess missed the cut. 

Chips 2019 WSOP Ev34 Final Table Thomson T1 1219
Photo Credit – WSOP

The Asia Pacific contingent trimmed to just 46 players into Day 3. Among the notable pros were Abhinav Iyer, Sejin Park, Phachara Wongwichit, Aditya Agarwal, Kitty Kuo, Steve Yea, Nipun Java, Jeonggyu Cho, Tamon Nakamura, Punnat Punsri, Norbert Koh, Joanne “JJ” Liu, Seungmook Jung, Daewoong Song, Vidur Sethi, Sean Ragozzini, Shashank Jain, Sang Yeon Hwang, and Hyung Sun Jung

Notables missing the mark were James Chen, Nikita Luther, Sung Joo Hyun, Naoya Kihara, Ka Kwan Lau, Jun Obara, Yohwan Lim, Abhishek Goindi, Neel Joshi, Marc Rivera, Lester Edoc, Arsh Grover, Yik Yin Chiu, and Vincent Huang

Day 2 is up next. Also running is the $1,111 Little One for One Drop. Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you updates and recaps of the ongoing series. 

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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